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Jason Blum Has Apologized For Saying "There Aren’t A Lot Of Female Directors" To Make Horror Films

The comments came in an interview for the upcoming Halloween reboot.

Posted on October 18, 2018, at 10:32 a.m. ET

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Hollywood producer Jason Blum said in an interview published Wednesday that his studio was yet to produce a horror film directed by a woman because "there are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror.”

Blum said he approached women directors such as Jennifer Kent (director of The Babadook) and Leigh Janiak (director of Honeymoon) but was either turned down or met with scheduling conflicts. The piece also states that Blum had to ask his colleagues to help him remember Janiak's name.

Since 2006, Blumhouse Productions, which he founded, has released two films by women directors: Karen Moncrieff's The Keeping Hours and Catherine Hardwicke's Plush.

Women inside the film industry quickly rebuked Blum and even offered themselves to direct upcoming films.

Blumhouse basically only works with known or name directors right? So if he's saying there's only a few "known/name" female studio directors that fit their model, he's not wrong. If you want a list of female horror or genre filmmakers though, trust me, that list is LONG AS FUCK.

@jason_blum I'm a director looking to direct my first feature, film "Gemma." It's a Black lesbian ghost horror love story set in rural Wisconsin. I have been an @Outfest and @Athenafilmfest screenwriting fellow for that script. Female directors do exist. You're just not looking. https://t.co/mzClEeaAi0

This line infuriated me: “There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror.” First off, look harder (and maybe at younger creators). Second of all, if you’re so into getting comedy guys to do horror, why not approach comedy girls too??

Multiple outlets put together lists of women who make horror films, in case Blum needed help.

Hey @jason_blum. You said, "There are not a lot of female directors period, and even less who are inclined to do horror." I've gathered a list of 650 ACTIVE FEMALE HORROR DIRECTORS (https://t.co/gxenAColvx) and it's growing every day. Original source: https://t.co/tkK1Uwadmw

For Jason Blum: A list of female filmmakers who've been killing it in horror https://t.co/mf92chYyR4

After reading the article by @misterpatches about his interview with Jason Blum, I used my off day like a damn nerd and I made a spreadsheet of women directed horror that you can find on streaming services RIGHT NOW. Thread. https://t.co/Ap1IcUZlCK

Some disagreed and said that the issue was deeper than not knowing names.

I think the reason I find the “lists of women” response to women’s exclusion from various industries/positions so distasteful is that it treats a problem of structural inequality as a problem of ignorance.

I appreciate Jason Blum's words may have annoyed you. Suggesting a bunch of female directors unlikely to be seeking Blumhouse work does the opposite of what you think it does though. Suggesting he contact Kelly Reichardt, Debra Granik or Tamara Jenkins isn't helping anyone.

To be fair there are fewer female horror directors, @jason_blum didn’t say they don’t exist, but we could do with being trusted, invested in, and supported more. That will help inspire and grow a new generation of female horror filmmakers. It’s a gap that can be bridged.

Following the backlash, Blum apologized, writing, "The way my passion came out was dumb and for that I am sorry."

"Thank you everyone for calling me out on my dumb comments in that interview," he said. "I spoke too quickly about a serious issue."

The comments come after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said it would investigate the ACLU's complaint that women directors were systematically discriminated against.

The process has been ongoing since 2015.

CORRECTION

Blumhouse Productions has released two films by women directors. An earlier version of this story misstated how many of the company's films were directed by women.

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